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Total beginner, lots of questons

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  • Total beginner, lots of questons

    Hi,
    I've been looking at getting a crested gecko for a while, but it's only been recently that I've been getting serious about it. Having just found this website, I've been reading the posts and such and have gathered some great info but I'd really love to just have some completely beginner stuff answered
    So, on to the questions!
    First off, any tips on what to look for when looking at geckos/breeders?
    Second, for the tank, I'm seeing a lot about starting small but I'm wondering about what size "small" means? And to that point, what the final size of a grown gecko's home should be?
    Also I'm wondering what people recommend for food, I know a lot of people are talking about some specific diets, while others are saying the geckos would be fine on crickets (if they'll eat them)?
    And finally, companionship: do these geckos do fine on their own or should I be looking for a friend for him/her as well?

    I'm sorry if these questions have been asked a million times! I also welcome any random tips/tricks

    Thanks a ton!
    Pix

  • #2
    First off, any tips on what to look for when looking at geckos/breeders?
    Talk to the breeder (I'm a breeder ) you're considering and get a feel if they're in it for the money or if they truly care about the geckos. I like to get to know the seller before I buy an animal.

    Second, for the tank, I'm seeing a lot about starting small but I'm wondering about what size "small" means? And to that point, what the final size of a grown gecko's home should be?
    After having geckos for a few years, for small geckos I just eyeball it so I'm not much help there. For adults however, the rule of thumb is 20 gallons for one gecko and +5/10 gallons for each additional gecko. Some geckos are different and prefer smaller or larger cages but 20 gallons is a good starting point.

    Also I'm wondering what people recommend for food, I know a lot of people are talking about some specific diets, while others are saying the geckos would be fine on crickets (if they'll eat them)?
    I highly recommend the Pangea Fruit Mix Complete, particularly any flavor including Apricot because that seems to have the highest feeding response for most people. Rotating diets/flavor sis good to because it gives your gecko a more diverse palette to eat. And NO. Don't listen to those people crickets aren't enough and your gecko won't thrive on me alone. They will also run the risk of developing MBD which is not good at all. Just FYI, when you feed insects dust them in calcium with d3 as a supplement.

    And finally, companionship: do these geckos do fine on their own or should I be looking for a friend for him/her as well
    Nope, they do much better in their own cages. More solitary and they like being alone more than living together.

    Hope this helps!
    Mary Frizzell
    Check out my Facebook page at "Good Luck Geckos"

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    • #3
      you should also be warned that these little guys can be addicting! ;-)

      As it relates to tank size, a lot of people start their geckos off in smaller enclosures (large kritter keepers) until they get a little bigger...if starting with a baby, which is most common. You can also find adults - more so from breeders, but also sometimes from local pet stores.

      i have a few from petco/petsmart, a few from here (Pangea store), a local reptile shop, and some from local breeders / classifieds here. I intend to breed, but do not as of yet. In general, my petco/petsmart geckos have been a little slower growing than the others. There also seems to be a higher likelihood of parasites/disease of some sort with the the chain store purchases, but that can be anywhere i guess. I have been fortunate to date on my purchases, but see stories here.

      the downside to ordering online is paying for shipping in addition to the cost of the gecko. Pangea has a pretty good deal on their beginner setup and can get gecko for free/shipping. You don't have to add too much to their starter kit IMO. Now, you will get different opinions as to that 10 gal tank included, and whether it is too large for the baby, then too small for an adult. Some keep their adults in those tanks - these geckos value height in their enclosure more so than horizontal space.

      my crew definitely love the pangea CGD as well. I also feed crickets (calcium w/ D3 dusted) about once a week, and in a separate enclosure. make sure they are proper size for your gecko, small for babies; no longer than space between eyes.

      You definitely are good just keeping 1 crestie per enclosure - males should never be housed together as fighting/death can occur. Females can sometimes be housed together if they get along. i keep 2 girls in my 18x18x24 (30 gal) tanks, and they get along fine so far, but I do keep an eye on them...and each pair is very similar in size to one another to avoid bullying.

      it is common to just use paper towel for substrate, especially to begin with, so can monitor pooping, etc. Small geckos can become impacted from accidentally (or purposefully) consuming substrate. I also feed crickets in separate KK's from their homes, as crickets left in an enclosure can bite/harm the geckos if left and aren't eaten. Some geckos figure this out quicker than others, but all of mine eventually warmed up to the idea of being moved to the KK for bugs...most pretty quickly.

      there are also a lot of great ideas in the caging & terrarium forum section of this site. i like using vines from hobby lobby in my tanks. these things can vary depending on whether you decide to plant a live vivarium, or other choices you might make...there is a lot of good info in there though.

      If you think there is even a slight chance you might end up wanting to breed cresties at a later date down the road, then my other suggestion would be to spend a little more on a "breeder quality" animal now. You don't have to spend $200 or $300+ on one, but it's hard to find them with traits/morphs desirable to breeders in petco/petsmart...it can happen, but is not real common place. If you are able to attend a repticon or similar type show, that might be a good place to find a nice crestie. Just do some research looking online to get an idea of what is out there so you don't overpay.
      3.4.13 crested geckos!!

      Comment


      • #4
        The two most important things for you to focus on besides the housing needs are proper feeding.
        Feed a complete diet like Pangea as mentioned. Bugs are a treat or supplement and must be dusted with D3 to assist the gecko in digestion and absorption of the calcium. Crickets or roaches can be fed once or twice a week, but the complete diet is key.
        Humidity is extremely important to manage for your future crested gecko. It would be wise to get your setup first and work with it a while to learn how to create a healthy humidity cycle. Getting a digital combination hygrometer and temperature gauge is the best device for measuring. The dial types are not accurate.
        Get a good spray bottle for misting, it will save your hands. Misting with distilled water will reduce mineral buildup in glass tanks. Using spring/bottled water for mixing food and drinking is a good idea as most city water is heavily chlorinated.
        Enjoy your adventure, they really are charming creatures . (and addicting)

        Rachodactylus Ciliatus

        2.2.5.2
        MUNKEY, PEACHES, MORROW, THIMBLE, KILI, GOLLUM, FALCOR, CHEECH & VALENTINE

        Rachodactylus Auriculatus
        1.2.1 KEKO, ARRO, PEBBLES & FALCOR

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